11 year old
A few years back, on the evening of July 4, we found a mature GSD and a young Jack Russell cowering behind our shed. They were terrified of the firecrackers going off around the neighborhood. After weeks of searching for their owners we decided to keep them (we had two other dogs). Turned out the GSD had heart worms and various skin conditions and cysts. We got treatment for him. He recuperated, and he became an affectionate, but never really a really happy dog.He always seemed kind of haunted and prematurely old.
Well now he's eleven, by the vet's estimate. He's starting to have episodes that scare me.
A few days before Christmas he collapsed and couldn't get up. He peed and pooped himself and wouldn't eat. A day or two later, he got up and ate and went outside. He was OK several days, then down again. We took him to the vet on Jan 2 thinking that he wouldn't be coming home.
The vet said his pulse was extremely irregular and he suspected cardiomyopathy (weakening of the heart). Diagnosing and treating him would have to be done at a research center, and even then his life expectancy would be only a few months.
I would have had him euthanized then and there, but my husband and son talked me into taking him home and watching him for a few more days. Well, he rallied again. He did fine for two weeks, then yesterday he was down again - laid in the same spot all day, incontinent, but eating and drinking. This morning he got up and went outside, went up and down steps, ate and drank. He's not super perky, but he's mobile.
I'm sorry for this long post. But am I doing the right thing? My plan is to just watch and wait until the bad days outnumber the good.
I truly think that you will see it in the eyes when it is time, they just say its OK now to let me go. Just watch and give lots of love.
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